Description of Bird Conservation Region 11
The Prairie Pothole Region is a glaciated area of mixed grass prairie in the west and tallgrass prairie in the east. This is the most important waterfowl production area on the North American continent, despite extensive wetland drainage and tillage of native grasslands. Breeding dabbling duck density may exceed 100 pairs per square mile in some areas during years with favorable wetland conditions. The region comprises the core of the breeding range of most dabbling duck and several diving duck species, as well as providing critical breeding and migration habitat for over 200 other bird species, including such priority species as Franklin's Gull, Yellow Rail, and Piping Plover. Baird's Sparrow, Sprague's Pipit, Wilson's Phalarope, Marbled Godwit, and American Avocet are among the many priority non-waterfowl species breeding in this region. Wetland areas also provide key spring migration sites for Hudsonian Godwit, American Golden-Plover, White-rumped Sandpiper, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Continued wetland degradation and fragmentation of remaining grasslands threaten future suitability of the Prairie Pothole Region for all of these birds.
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